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The Times' criminal justice team looks behind the scenes and behind the headlines.

August 19, 2010 at 2:40 PM

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10-year-old accused of armed robbery will remain in custody

Posted by John de Leon

-- From Times staff reporter Jennifer Sullivan:

The 10-year-old boy who who police say shot himself in the arm Tuesday night during a botched robbery aboard a bus was ordered held in custody Thursday during a detention hearing in King County Juvenile Court.

The boy will remain in custody at least until his next hearing, scheduled for Tuesday. The boy's mother, Monisha Ford, cried when the court commissioner made her ruling; she had hoped he would be allowed to go home. The Times is not naming the boy because he is being prosecuted as a juvenile.

The boy, who is 4-feet-1, appeared in juvenile court with his right arm in a sling.

According to police, the 10-year-old was with a group of other juveniles when they tried to rob a 17-year-old boy on Metro's Route 7 bus. The 10-year-old ordered the older boy to empty his pockets while the other boys, ages 12, 14 and 15 surrounded the 17-year-old, police said.

The 17-year-old later told police he saw the 10-year-old unzip a backpack and reach inside. The older boy was afraid the younger boy was reaching for a gun so he grabbed him in a bear hug. During the struggle a gunshot went off inside the backpack, wounding the younger boy, police said.

The older boy feared the other boys would reach for the gun so he grabbed the backpack and ran out of the bus, police said. He was assaulted by the other boys after he left the bus, police said.

Police later found a .22-caliber semi-automatic handgun in the backpack.

Seattle police say this isn't the first time they've encountered the 10-year-old. They say he has a history of assault and robbing people with a pellet gun.

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